The Lone Gamer’s Review: Resident Evil 7 Biohazard

Posted in Gaming, PC Gaming, Resident Evil 7 Biohazard, Survival Horror on February 7th, 2017 by thelonegamer


You don’t need VR to get immersed into this instant horror favorite.

A sprawling,derelict estate full of labyrinthine corridors and darkened rooms. Perplexing puzzles and twisted riddles. Ghastly creatures and a limited arsenal of weapons. Yep, it’s Resident Evil all right.

Resident Evil 7 Biohazard is a return-to-form for this long-running, much-beloved series, despite several large changes to some fundamental gameplay mechanics.

You play as Ethan Winters, a seemingly ordinary guy who has come to the swamplands of Dulvey, Louisiana looking for his wife Mia, who has been missing for the past three years. The email Mia sent him has led him to the rather large Baker Farm- a multi-building estate that seems at first abandoned and falling into slow decay. But soon after he arrives, it becomes apparent that not all is well. There is a measure of disbelief that has to be given about the stark absurdity of the situation and how Ethan still manages to soldier on regardless.

Dismembered legs of farm animals and buzzsaw blades forming a grotesque wreath before you? No problem! Seemingly abandoned house full of mysterious noises and unexplained movement? No sweat! VHS footage of some other people apparently getting murdered in this very house? NOTHING gets to this guy- he will find his missing wife come hell or high water even if any other sane person would have long run off to find the nearest SWAT Team.

But instead of hordes of zombies, the foes Ethan will face are more individualized and personal, mostly being the members of the Baker Family. There’s Jack Baker- the patriarch and father- a bespectacled, balding elder gentleman with a penchant for swinging large axes or shovels and shrugging away bullets like the Nemesis- just in overalls. There’s Marguerite, Jack’s wife and mother of the household who seems to have a very disturbing affinity for creepy crawlies. And then there’s Lucas- an intelligent young man destined to become another Jigsaw Killer in the near future. Each of the Bakers is clearly not entirely normal or human, but the exact nature of this Hills-Have-Eyes/Texas Chainsaw Massacre-reeking clan is a mystery Ethan will unravel as the night bores on- if he survives. Each family member is effectively unkillable, making each one a sort of boss. Aside from them though, there will be other enemies to be found in the course of the game where Ethan’s meager arsenal of weapons may be used more effectively on.

But just like the classic, original Resident Evil, firearms and armaments are not in huge supply. Enemies won’t drop pisetas or bullets after death. You WILL, for the most part, need to make every shot count, unless you want to possibly confront a hulking enemy armed with just a folding knife. It’s this return to a more desperate, more calculated pace of combat, resource management and survival that makes this game so much more in tune with the earlier, and more scary RE’s rather than the later, more action-oriented games of RE4 and beyond.

But aside from hearkening to the original RE, this latest sequel also borrows or takes cues from other sources of horror, from Japanese Horror films to other survival horror games like Silent Hill, P.T., Outlast and more. But you do know there’s still probably some evil pharmaceutical corporation or scientific nightmare behind it all, despite the supernatural trimmings.

Truly helping the scare factor along is the simple change in perspective- RE7 is played entirely from First Person, making everything so much more immersive and personal (note that this probably becomes doubly so on PS4 with PSVR). Enemies can suddenly shuffle into your way, or, in one unique case, even smash through walls at you (perhaps a nice nod to the classic Dogs scene?), and you can just FEEL them nipping at your heels as you turn tail to run. More often than not, it will be a case of evading enemies rather than outright fighting to succeed, at least until you have an ample supply of ammo and a good, strong weapon (and maybe a couple of those nifty healing solutions).

The graphics are pretty spot-on, with the various confines of the Baker Farm having an eerie, almost photo-realistic look to everything. Character models are well done, although still having a bit of uncanny valley with some characters, in particular Ethan’s estranged wife, Mia. On the other hand, the sound design, SFX and voice work is almost uniformly superb- I guess funny and cheesy voice acting was one thing they didn’t feel needed to be brought back.

Resident Evil 7 surpassed pretty much all my expectations to deliver a truly engrossing, entertaining and mature survival-HORROR experience from beginning to end. The production values and quality is impressive, the story perhaps the most easy to understand and well-told both through files, environmental storytelling and just a wee bit of actual expositional dialogue. The boss fights are amazing, the combat satisfying as heck. If this is the new door to what Resident Evil is opening up to, let me the hell in.

Resident Evil 7 Biohazard
Game Rating: 9 of 10

Kingsglaive: The Lone Gamer’s Movie Review

Posted in Action Adventure, Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy XC, Game Advertising, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, Movies, My Stuff on September 18th, 2016 by thelonegamer


Well, at least it’s much better than Spirits Within.

As the gaming world counts the weeks to the late November release of the long-in-development Final Fantasy XV, gamers all over have a wide selection of material to occupy their attention before the actual game hits. Of course there’s the anime OVA series, FFXV Brotherhood (nowhere near as good as FMA Brotherhood, I assure you), which is of course made to introduce us to the heroes of the game- Prince Noct of Lucis and his roadies. Kingsglaive, a fully-CG animated film, is another such prologue, though much more immediate to the events within the game.

As the opening seconds of the movie roll in with the familiar voice of Lena Heady (our most beloved mad queen of Westeros) giving narration, we are introduced to the big players- Lucis is the ‘peaceful kingdom of magic’ while opposite them is The Empire of Nifleheim, a militaristic nation powered by Magitek (ah, Magitek, we know you so well). The Empire of course is on the verge of total victory, with the capital city of Insomnia (really? A city is named after a sleeping disorder?) the only remaining bastion of Lucis’ control. After a flashback showing some tragic events that befall Lucis’ former ally, the country of Tenebrae, we get into the thick of action with the Kingsglaive.

The titular Kingsglaive are apparently Lucis’ main (or perhaps only) military force- not sure about how many, but there seem to be not many- certainly nowhere near a hundred strong. The Glaive are ‘mighty warriors’, all of whom are recruited from Lucis’ provinces (all of which are probably now under Empire control or attack) due to their ability to use magic. The magic they wield though comes from one source- the King of Lucis himself, King Regis (voiced by another GoT stalwart, Sean Bean). So who are the Glaive? They look kinda cool- very similar to Assassins from Assassins Creed, but in black and wielding one main weapon- a dagger or short blade which they use primarily to ‘Warp Strike’; as in, they throw the dagger and then can teleport to wherever the weapon goes. While it certainly LOOKS awesome, I find it highly impractical and sorta haphazard. I guess the Glaive are trained to be really good and accurate throwers, but come on- you’re limited by throwing range, the speed of the person’s arm, his accuracy, the fact that they can go wildly out of control (and many do in the course of the action) with a bad throw.

Anyway, in these couple of dozen or so fighters is Lucis’ main defense. What has the enemy got? Oh, aside from armies of certainly a lot more soldiers, both human and mechanical (armed with GUNS), they have Magitek war machines AND apparently controlled monsters (just like in the games!) which range from flying creeps and cannon fodder to larger beasts like a Cerberus (three-headed fire dog) and a smoky demon which also seems to be half mechanical. How a few guys with daggers is able to hold off such a force is beyond me. But well, somehow they do.

Or do they? At the moment of apparent defeat, the Empire withdraws, allowing the Kingsglaive to get a breather. Later on, the court of King Regis is visited by a strange visitor- the shabby but kinda cool-looking Ardyn Izunia, perhaps the first Final Fantasy villain ever to sport a fedora and what seems to be a beak on his right arm (really, WHAT THE HELL IS HE WEARING?). Ardyn brings an offer of peace- well, pretty much an armistice, which offers a stop to the war at the cost of Lucis surrendering all its territories save Insomnia itself. Oh, and the Prince must also marry the Princess Lunafreya, who has been an Imperial captive/ward all this time.

Of course, you just know that the Empire is up to no good, and from there it’s a nice build-up to the day of the treaty signing. In the meantime, we see ugly sides of Lucis, which utterly puzzle me. So the Kingsglaive are all recruited from non-residents of Insomnia… WHY are they regarded by Insomnians with an obvious racist disgust? They are DEFENDING YOU, IDIOTS. The Glaive themselves are not your picture of loyalty or unity either- of course, you have the gung-ho, fearless hero Nyx, his clumsy oaf of a best friend Libertus and the one hot girl, Crow. The rest are either faceless and unimportant or belligerent or smarmy. With their ranks thinned and dissent growing cracks in their resolve, in the Kingsglaive may lie the fate of Lucis as the Imperial plot soon unfolds.

First off, the movie is GORGEOUS. That much can be said readily. There’s a lot of detail in the characters, and its much improved from previous Final Fantasy films. Faces of many characters look great, and at least by this time we don’t really think uncanny valley that much any more. However, there seems to be a slight disjoint between lip syncing- or perhaps the mouths of characters don’t quite seem to jive with the words.

While the first half of the movie up to when the shit hits the fan, the movie is quite engaging. However, after a certain point and we head into an unwieldy final act, it all crumples into a mess of a pursuit/chase, and large scale “Giant Monster’ action and action that’s so zippy and flashy, it can only be described as anime. Things happen to characters that normal humans would not walk away from easily, betraying the CG nature of the actors and the world. And the action in the final battle, while pretty amazing, seems hollow, without weight and ultimately, unsatisfying.

But then, I guess Kingsglaive is not meant to satisfy. It’s here to set the stage- with the bad guys winning or on the upswing, while the heroes are- well, they’re not here. The real heroes are in the upcoming GAME, which you will need to play to get closure. I wonder though how closely they’ll keep this movie to the final game? In that way, I guess that while Kingsglaive has its faults, it was worth seeing and certainly has me stoked into kicking Imperial butt this November on my PS4.

Tekken 7 @ Gamescom 2016: EXCELLENT Character Reveal!

Posted in Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, PS4, Tekken, Tekken 7, Xbox One on August 18th, 2016 by thelonegamer


The silver-haired demon, Lee Chaolan, returns!

At this year’s Gamescom event (which is pretty much Germany’s E3), Katsuhiro Harada attended and revealed another addition to the Tekken 7 roster… none other than Lee Chaolan! The silver-haired adopted son of Heihachi Mishima and now head of his own robotics corporation returns with his lightning fast kicks and high-pitched yells… and an even more stylish set of suits. Really, this guy is all style, isn’t he? It’s interesting to note that Lee is as yet an addition to the console release of Tekken 7. It appears that from here on in, any new characters announced will be for the home versions on PC, PS4 and XBox One. Good news for the most of us who haven’t been lucky enough to live near an very well-stocked arcade.

It seems that with the road to the home release now stretching out but quite reachable, further reveals may be in the works- there may certainly be more in store at next month’s Tokyo Game Show (mid-September), so we’ll just have to wait and see. I’ve been quite happy with the recent reveals and the new customizations that will, we assume, all make their way to the console versions. With pretty much no other big fighters due out next year, Tekken 7 just may be the BIG ONE to watch out for fighting gamers in the near future. More as we get it then!

Tekken 7FR @ EVO2016: Two New Characters Revealed!

Posted in Arcade, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, PS4, Tekken, Tekken 7 Fated Retribution on July 18th, 2016 by thelonegamer


The playable roster to Tekken 7 Fated Retribution just grew by two.

Earlier today during EVO 2016, Tekken Producer Katsuhiro Harada alomg with Tekken Team Member Michael Murray revealed two new characters added to the Tekken 7FR roster. First up was the super-heavyweight Bob, looking pretty much like he did in previous games, albeit with some new duds and some fancier moves, including a pretty rad-looking dive bomb, probably for his Rage Art. Right after Bob’s spot debuted the trailer for a newcomer named Master Raven- who is literally a female version of Tekken’s original black ninja. Harada immediately let out however that this isn’t Raven after a sex-change; she’s Raven’s boss, who certainly looks kick-ass enough to be the superior to our favorite Wesley Snipes’ lookalike.

Immediate reactions to the trailers was kinda mixed, even in the audience. Noticeably it wasn’t entirely all cheers of delight. There were some (perhaps) playful boos and some bits of confusion. I have to admit, I’m not that excited with either character- I was never into Bob OR Raven, but hey- they look pretty slick. We’ll probably learn more about them or perhaps get even more character reveals next week at Comicon, where Tekken 7 will again make an appearance. More on this as we get it!

Tekken 7 Markman Interview with Playstation

Posted in Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, PS4, Tekken, Tekken 7, Xbox One on June 16th, 2016 by thelonegamer


Markman brings the goods over to the Sony gang.

Last time we saw Mark Julio AKA Markman, he was with MadCatz gaming peripherals, but he had always been one of the pillars of the Tekken online community. Recently he truly embraced his partnership with the Tekken team, becoming part of Namco-Bandai and now working closely with Katsuhiro Harada himself. Now he’s spreading the Tekken 7 word and hopefully rebuilding the hype and excitement lost on fans and gamers in the long months of inaction from the Iron Fist fighter. Starting at E3, Tekken 7 is looking pretty promising, and hopefully will have the content fans have come to expect from the Triple-A fighter. More fighters, modes, customizations, the story mode- all the trimmings look to make Tekken 7 a return to form for the series. Check out the interview above and stay tuned for more details sure to come in the weeks and months ahead.

Tekken 7 is set for release on PS4, XBox One and PC in early 2017.

WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?! Dark Souls III Cinematic Opening Trailer

Posted in Action Adventure, Dark Souls, Dark Souls III, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, PS4, RPGs, Xbox One on February 8th, 2016 by thelonegamer


Yet another game I’m dying to play.

Dark Souls III. I have no idea what the story is this time, but it looks amazing. With elements and flavor no doubt gleaned from the previous From Soft epic, Bloodborne, this may be a more fast-paced Dark Souls than veterans and fans have seen before- and perhaps the most accesible. Honestly, I have played a LOT of the original Dark Souls, although I never finished it (I tapred off after acquiring the Lordvessel), and haven’t played Dark Sous II. I did play tons of Bloodborne, reaching up to just before the final boss fight. In any case, I am really stoked for DSIII. I’ve always loved this dark, depressing yet ever-hopeful world, and this new game looks to be the most epic yet. This April, we’re all going to be fools for this game.

Streetfighter V: Full CG Cinematic Trailer

Posted in Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, PS4, Streetfighter, Streetfighter V on February 8th, 2016 by thelonegamer


Are you ready for Streetfighter V?

With just a little more than a week to release, Streetfighter V gets the full CG treatment with its full-length launch trailer/CG Intro. Expanding on a shorter version released some time ago, this new trailer features the entire cast (minus DLC fighters, sadly) and shows them in various situations leading up to the Big Brawl. We see Chun-Li, Cammy and Ken getting ready, as well as Ryu preparing himself yet again. Charlie Nash seemingly rises from a grave, even as a more badass but older M.Bison steps onto the world stage once again for another bid at conquest. Returning characters, new characters- blink and you may miss one or two. I find myself thinking, will Evil Ryu surface at one point, given how Ryu ‘hulks out’ in the trailer near the end? Anyway, I haven’t been able to play the Beta so I am really looking forward to playing this game, preferably on PC (though I will most probably be getting it for PS4 as well). This is the SF game we’ll be playing for the foreseeable future, so let’s get comfy with it. Just a little more waiting…

Tekken 7 Fated Retribution: Nina Williams Reveal Trailer!

Posted in Arcade, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Tekken, Tekken 7 Fated Retribution on January 27th, 2016 by thelonegamer


The first LADY of Tekken returns.

Just shown off today at EVO2016 was the reveal trailer for Nina Williams in Tekken 7 Fated Retribution. The original blonde bombshell of Tekken returns wearing a tattered wedding dress, which offers obvious references to Kill Bill or perhaps even Parasite Eve: 3rd Birthday. Who knows? WHO CARES? She’s HAWT! Heheh. Anyways, Nina still has a lot of her old moves and grapples, plus her Rage Art has her doing a quite sexy finisher on the opponent which will surely have guys, um, feeling a bit… tight.

Nina is probably just the first of many additional fighters that will hopefully be debuted surely and steadily to the Tekken 7FR roster as we slowly inch to the February arcade location test dates, release and hoping against hope- a console release date? Stay tuned… more as we get it.

Why I Missed Playing The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt

Posted in Action Adventure, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, PC Gaming, PS4, RPGs, The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, Xbox One on January 4th, 2016 by thelonegamer


Gorgeous Fantasy Gaming that I Missed in 2015.

One of the biggest games of 2015. Critically-acclaimed and a certified blockbuster. Massive, detailed fantasy world. Gorgeous graphics. All these and more one can say for CD Project Red’s The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt. So, why didn’t I play it?

To be honest, I bought a copy of TW3TWH on launch day. I even played the first few minutes (and got to see the glorious sight that was Yennifer’s bare butt). But after that, I set it down and never went back. From there, I spent the rest of the months playing Dragon Age: Inquisition and then later, Fallout 4. Why didn’t I get into The Witcher 3?

I’ve had a bit of a sad history with the Witcher franchise- like many other games, I keep up with the lore, the storyline and characters, but I never really actually PLAY it. I do know that the first Witcher game was very well done, but had clunky combat. Same could be said for the sequel, the much-improved The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. I actually also have The Witcher 2 in my Steam Library- I purchased it during a sale prior to TW3′s launch- and I tried playing a bit. And it’s there where my misgivings about the game were reinforced. The gameplay and controls are… wonky. Moving Geralt around is annoying- moving about is a chore, as is finding your way around a forest where there is apparently only a single, hard-to-see path. Then there’s the Menu and Inventory screen, which is cluttered, confusing and filled to the brim with radial rings that are too busy and complex for my tastes. For someone used to the more intuitive and easy controls of Skyrim, the Witcher 2 just felt… wrong.

I can’t fault the game’s looks and the brutal world it inhabits, and certainly the story seems interesting. But then, I didn’t find it possible to move forward in The Witcher 2.
Fast-forward to The Witcher 3. Perhaps, some unconscious bit in the back of my head was irked by the surely-similar gameplay and control. The first fight with the Ghouls in the game didn’t bode well- locking on to an enemy, wildly swinging your sword- it just felt off. I didn’t feel good with it, and I just gave up. I went to other games, and that was it.

Now, I have a new PC, and am seriously thinking about giving Geralt’s adventures another go with it. I still have The Witcher 2 in my library- perhaps I should play that first, and if I finish it, then I’ll get The Witcher 3 on my PC. Up to now, I have avoided all spoilers and know nothing about the story, so this is all virgin territory for me. Yeah, I”m a late bloomer, but better late than never. We’ll see.

My Favorite 10 Fallout PC Mods (So Far)

Posted in Action Adventure, DLC, Fallout 4, Fan Service, Game Advertising, Gaming, mods, My Stuff, Open World Games, PC Gaming on January 4th, 2016 by thelonegamer

Hey people! For Christmas, I got myself a pretty nifty gift- a new gaming computer! It’s a nice rig equipped with an i7 Intel Quad Core Processor, Nvidia GTX750Ti Graphics Card, SSD, 15GB or RAM and a Terabyte of HDD Space. The thing boots up in seconds, so you’d understand that I’d expect games to run on it like clockwork. The first big game I installed? FALLOUT 4, of course!

Now, I’ve heard and read a lot of stuff online- how the game isn’t all that, how a lot of gamers are supposedly tired of it- well, I’m not. I still love this game so much. Aside from the amazingly fun combat, the detailed world (which rivals Skyrim) with TONS to explore… After two playthroughs on PS4, I think I’ve surely not seen all there is to see in this vast game. Well, since getting my PC, the PS4 version has been all but forgotten- and I’ve fully committed to the new platform- it’s definitely much better, both in looks and gameplay thanks to the more hi-res and detailed graphics and well…. THE MODS. Oh, the MODS. It’s still early- the Creation Kit isn’t even out yet- but there are already a TON of great mods that make the game even better than it was at launch. So far, here are my favorites.

Companion Infinite Ammo. This is a simple mod that basically makes companions more helpful and formidable. In the vanilla game, companions come with their own personal (and crappy) weapon with its own unique ammo. If you try to ‘upgrade’ them, you will have to supply their new gun with ammunition- which I tell you they will waste straightaway. Just like Settlers, with this mod you can give a companion a weapon and ONE bullet/ammo for it, and they’ll never run out. It’s not particularly realistic, but it makes your companions far more helpful and lets you take advantage of your powerful weapon mods. Does it make the companions overpowered? Not really- I had Strong packing a minigun, and he still went down when faced with several enemy Supermutants. It makes them better but not unstoppable- or even that much smarter. Oh well…

More Armor Slots. This lets you wear armor pieces over pretty much any other piece of clothing- making for some pretty cool looks. Now you don’t have to look for Road Leathers or Fatigues to armor your settlers. Or you can wear that cool trenchoat with some snazzy leather pauldrons. Awesome.

Full Dialogue Interface. This changes the Dialogue Interface to a numbered format, plus shows off the exact words your character will say- no more vagueness!

Improved Maps with Visible Roads. Now it’s easier to navigate the damn wasteland with this nice little visual upgrade.

WET (Water Enhancement Textures). As you’d expect, this makes the water in the game gorgeous… almost good enough to drink or swim in… but DON’T.

True Storms. This makes the weather in the Commonwealth a tad more intense… and in the case of the deadly Radstorms, TERRIFYINGLY GORGEOUS.

Wearable Postal Bag or Backpack. Adds a nice accessory you can wear which also adds to your carry weight. Now you can go POSTAL on your enemies! Still doesn’t make the game any more realistic but it still looks pretty cool.

Quieter Settlements. This simple mod lessens the noise from stuff like generators, turrets and settler work SFX in your busy neighborhoods. Because you already have a big enough headache as it is with enemy raids, supply acquisition and bed shortages.

Realistic Ragdoll Force. Similar to the same mod in Skyrim, this reduces the force applied by attacks on enemies- so shooting someone with a pistol won’t send them flying off into space. Not for everyone, but I like relative realism.

CBBE (Caliente’s Beautiful Bodies Enhancer). Just because.

I’ll be using these, and hopefully a lot more mods when I do my Fallout 4 Let’s Roleplay. We’ll see how soon that happens. For now, check out Fallout 4 Nexus for the latest and best Fallout 4 mods.